With license and library deals, biotech spreads its DNA

Reading materials: The prestigious Material ConneXion library -- including samples available at facilities around the globe -- now includes products manufactured by Applied DNA Sciences.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

It’s been a banner month for Applied DNA Sciences, with two new deals both reaffirming the biotech’s scientific value and significantly extending its commercial reach.

On Friday, the provider of DNA-focused supply chain, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technologies announced that its SigNature molecular tag technology had been added to global materials-innovator Material ConneXion’s prestigious library – exposing Applied DNA’s wares to scientists, manufacturers and makers around the world, a potentially enormous commercial coup.

The Stony Brook biotech followed that happy news by announcing Monday that Techmer PM, a respected producer of colors and additives for the plastic and fiber industries and longtime SigNature customer, has signed a new trademark license agreement that will add Applied DNA’s exclusive CertainT trademark to its products – a public declaration of their authenticity and the Tennessee company’s supply-chain transparency.

Specifically, Techmer will apply the CertainT trademark to polyethylene terephthalate (including recycled PET) “masterbatches” – additives that impart qualities or colors to compound plastics – secured by SigNatureT molecular tagging.

By showing customers and supply-chain partners its ability to “forensically interrogate” its source material through all manufacturing phases, Techmer “differentiates itself in a dynamic market,” according to Applied DNA.

And in a modern marketplace defined by innovation, differentiating is the name of the game, according to Techmer founder and CEO John Manuck.

“A successful 21st century company must be adept at applying new technology through the supply train,” Manuck said Monday. “Leveraging new ideas and applying design concepts are vital to future growth.

“Customers want to know where their products were designed and manufactured, and we want to be at the forefront in reliably providing that information.”

James Hayward: Testaments to Applied DNA’s success.

Hence the “innovation through collaboration” with Applied DNA, Manuck added, which includes a joint Techmer/Applied DNA presentation at this week’s Synthetic Yarn Fibers Association Fall Conference in North Carolina.

Applied DNA broke into polyethylene terephthalate in a big way this summer, announcing a multi-year trademark licensing deal with India-based global textile manufacturer GHCL Ltd. In addition to expanding that PET focus, the Techmer licensing contract marks another very public feather in the biotech’s cap, noted President and CEO James Hayward.

“By expanding our existing relationship to include trademark licensing, Techmer highlights the growing awareness and adoption of our CertainT platform with a public-facing trademark that stands for authenticity, transparency and performance,” Hayward said in a statement.

Those public-facing benefits go double for Applied DNA’s induction into the Material ConneXion library, a definitive listing of advanced and sustainable manufacturing materials and techniques.

The library is especially keen on adding a product line focused on textile tracking and other product-authenticity challenges, according to Material ConneXion material specialist Kerrie Rosenheck, who noted new technologies are selected for inclusion in the renowned library based on their innovation and performance.

“Applied DNA’s molecular tagging platform is a powerful tool with which to authenticate products throughout the global supply chain and to ensure they are truthfully labeled,” Rosenheck said Monday.

In addition to an online reference database, Material ConneXion maintains material libraries in Thailand, Spain, South Korea, Italy, Sweden, Japan and New York City. And that makes the induction one of the most prestigious – and commercially promising – honors yet earned by Applied DNA, Hayward noted.

“Our inclusion into the library is a testament to our success to date in purifying the cotton supply chain,” the CEO said, while “reflect(ing) the growing strategic role that technologies such as ours are establishing with supply-chain participants to power their sustainability and consumer-assurance goals.”